The embattled former National Security Adviser, NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki, retd, yesterday, failed to persuade an Abuja high court sitting at Maitama to stop the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, from prosecuting him on a 22-count criminal charge bordering on alleged diversion of N19billion arms fund.
In a ruling yesterday, trial Justice Peter Affen, dismissed as lacking in merit, Dasuki’s application to be discharged by the court.
Former National Security Adviser, NSA, to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Col. Sambo Dasuki Justice Affen held that the continued detention of the erstwhile NSA by the federal government was not in contempt of the bail order he made on December 18, 2015.
The court had granted Dasuki and his four co-defendants bail to the tune of N250million each with two sureties in like sum. He was however re-arrested by operatives of the Department of State Service, DSS, on December 29, after he fulfilled all the bail conditions that were handed to him by three different courts.
Those answering the instant charge with him are the former Minister of Finance, Bashir Yuguda, former Director of Finance in the Office of the NSA, Mr. Shuaibu Salisu, former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa and his son, Sagir Attahiru.
The EFCC alleged that the defendants connived and diverted funds from the office of the NSA, prior to the 2015 general elections. A company the anti-graft agency said served as conduit pipe for the alleged illegal diversion of the N19bn, Dahaltu Investment Limited, was also cited as the 4th defendant in the matter.
All the defendants had on December 15, 2015, pleaded not guilty to the charge against them. Meanwhile, Dasuki who has three sets of criminal charges pending against him before three different courts, via the application he filed through his team of lawyers led by Mr. J.B. Daudu, SAN, sought to be discharged by Justice Affen.
He premised the application on refusal by the federal government to release him from custody, an action he said was in flagrant disobedience to the court order that allowed him on bail pending the determination of the charge against him.
Dasuki urged the court not to indulge the prosecution in any manner whatsoever in connection with the allegations against him, until it complies with the bail order.
Alternatively, he prayed the court to stay further proceeding on the trial, pending his release from detention. Aside dismissing the application yesterday, the court, gave the EFCC the nod to open its case against the defendants on April 20.
Justice Affen stressed that the order that granted the ex-NSA bail did not preclude him from being re-arrested by other agencies of the government in respect of other allegations.
The judge noted that evidence before the court showed that Dasuki was not re-arrested by operatives of the EFCC, but by the DSS which is not one of the parties before the court.
He said though the two security agencies belong to the federal government, he said the wrongdoing of one of them could not be attributed to the other. It will be recalled that Justice Hussien Baba Yusuf who is also trying Dasuki on a 19-count charge involving alleged N32billion fraud, had on February 8, also dismissed a similar application by the former NSA, even as he fixed March 23 to commence full-blown hearing on the case against him.
Likewise, Justice Ademola Adeniyi of the Federal High Court in Abuja, on Thursday, slated April 4 to deliver ruling on the same application by Dasuki who is also facing a five-count charge bordering on money laundering and his alleged illegal possession of firearms.